Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Praise Science Primer in Surviving the Coming Post-Depression Apocalypse!

It is not only humans that will suffer in the coming hard times

Hey guys, I don't know if you've been reading any non-Science related news lately, but the economy is pretty much collapsing beneath us and all the politicians and economists and people with retirement funds are like totally shitting their pants because they have no idea what is going on or what is going to happen tomorrow/in a week/in a year. So basically, fellow Praisers of Science, what that means is that before we know it, we could be in the midst of a (hopefully zombie) apocalypse. What are you going to do to ensure your survival? Here are some helpful tips that might give you the Scientific advantage you need:

1) Get one of these:Combat-Survival Prius; 'nuff said.

2) Get as much guns and ammo as you can, because face it, we all know that God ain't coming to save you.

3) Get as many solar panels/wind turbines as you can, because face it, we all know that God ain't gonna keep that Counter Strike server running.

4) Use your 401k (psh like any of you have one), before Wall Street fat cats completely destroy the retirement funds of middle class America, to invest in a Svalbard Global Seed Vault to ensure that our ancestors will be able to re-create the bio-diversity of Earth after the Dark Ages that are sure to come.

5) Invest in a homebrew beer laboratory. This segment of chemistry is perhaps the most vital to humans, plus if you are able to become a post-apocalypse Beer Impresario, you will be the richest, sexiest, most powerful human in the inevitable doomscape of the coming future.

Ummmm... beer, video games, food.... what else is there really? Let us know in the comments if you have any other pertinent suggestions. Anyways, take these words to heart PS readers... we wish you luck, and maybe we'll see you at the 2020 Praise Science Post-Apocalypse Reader/Zombie Meetup Extravaganza!!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Ski Season Begins Early... on Mars.

Artist's rendition of me, starting today.

Pheonix, the little lander that could, has detected snow falling on Mars. Is this water-based snow or what? I don't know; who cares; It's snowing on fucking Mars, the home of the biggest mountain in the entire solar system, Olympus Mons!!!!!!!! I know this might disappoint you all, but I'm quitting my job as a full time JetMan to pursue another career: Inter-Planetary Shralping.

Friday, September 26, 2008

You Wish This Was You.

Yves Rossy - aka Fusionman - successfully crossed the English channel from Calais to Dover. Using a JETPACK.
Yeah, that's a picture of him, doing his thing. By the way, this is my last Praise Science post ever. I'm quitting the Internet to devote my life to becoming a full time JetMan. Thanks for everything devoted readers!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

You Down With LHC?

Science rap seems to be the new hot ish on the tubes lately. Here's another one dealing with the inner workings of the Large Hadron Collider, complete with some fly CERN dancing girls:

If you haven't seen it yet, check out the banger astrobiology rap we just posted by up-and-coming Sci-rapper, Oort Kuiper.

Yeah You Know Me

"Study life on earth, then your doing biology, study life in space, it's called Astrobiology."

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Calderas: Natures Depressions.

Hi Pete, Mike and Jessica Everybody! In case you didn't know, (consider this a Geological courtesy card) calderas exist. A caldera, as defined by praisescience.blogspot.com is a geographical depression due to either a volcano, or other situational, or perceptual factors. Yellowstone National Park is probably the most real caldera of all time, being that it's at the center of three overlapping geographical calderas, and, in retrospect, at the epicenter of one of the most depressing vacations I've been on in a long time. If you're reading this and thinking, "Oh, you mean a crater," you really need a courtesy card. Calderas arise (or depress, rather) from collapsed land after a volcanic eruption, or collapsed spirits from depressing trips. Craters are made by explosions. On the positive, calderas are generally dormant with a few dramatic outbursts, such as old faithful, or me a couple of weekends ago.

Probably the most geologically famous caldera is Santorini, Greece. Check out a live view of the Santorini Caldera

Decide for Yourself

The California Academy of Sciences opens on Saturday. Check it out and let praise science know if you agree with the architectural review.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Science Tattoos


Not cool:

Monday, September 22, 2008

Colliding Planets: No Big Deal.


Researchers reported on Friday that clouds of space dust floating around a binary star in the constellation Aries imply that two earth-like planets collided in that mature solar system. These equator bonkers were probably the closest (300 light years away) earth-like digs in our galaxy. How two planets collide in such an environment, and why it hasn't happened in our solar system are two excellent questions that should be addressed by powerman 5000 immediately.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Pretty pictures of brains.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Today is An Important Date in E-History...

... because 26 years ago to the day, Carnegie Mellon professor Scott E. Fahlman was the first person ever to post ':-)' on an online message board. Technically though, the concept was first put into use in 1881 by none other than Ambrose Bierce using hand-set type to write ' \_/ ' which he referred to as a 'snigger point'. That never really caught on, did it?

Hey Guys Another Science Conference!

Well, we've managed to address the problem of lack of dialogue on scientific issues among presidential candidates throughout the American idol fest presidential campaigns the way scientists usually do, with a conference. Wah woh. We couldn't get an actual debate on some of the pressing issues facing humanity and our planet, but who cares, we're having a conference! You can read the two parties' candidates' responses to the 14 biggest questions in science here. This is not only well worth reading as a means to inform political decision, but is also pretty damn hilarious. See if you can tell which candidate actually addresses the questions.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Some theme songs for research in auditory neuroprosthetics.

Souls of Mischief w/ Del tha Funkee Homosapien- Soundscience

"I speak maths [sic]"

Deltron 3030 - Upgrade

"Upgrade your gray matter,
because one day it may matter."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Are you likely to be good at math?

An article in this month's Nature correlates our ability to discriminate quantities, as we do in picking short supermarket lines and finding good restaurants in foreign places, to more abstract mathematical ability. No wonder I'm so good at finding short lines. Take the test to determine whether you have a likely predilection for mathematical ability. If you don't do so well, here's a courtesy card.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Zebrafish Brain

Friday, September 12, 2008

For Kyle

Serious... serious research.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Special Commemorative 9/11 Post, Limited Quantity Available!!!

Seven years ago today, the bad men put the planes into the buildings and now we are at war, forever. In memory of said day, we bring to you this special 9/11 themed Praise Science report:

Remember how the fires caused by the exploding planes weakened the steel superstructures of the Twin Towers to the point where they collapsed? Physicists that aren't really very optimistic about cold fusion ever working out and focus on the more practical "hot" fusion believe that studying the way the WTC steel reacted in a superheated environment can give them insight into building new fusion reactors. Apparently the temperatures inside a fusion reactor are close to those reached within the burning skyscrapers. They want to use this data to figure out how to make stronger, better and faster steel, which will hopefully lead to safer and more efficient fusion technology

Take that terr'ists!! Before you know it, you'll be facing fusion-powered mobile plasma artillery platforms AND IT WILL TOTALLY BE YOUR FAULT!!!! AMERICA 4EVAR!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ask Praise Science!!!

My new roommate Mike asks: "What would happen if one were to be hit with a beam of protons travelling at nearly the speed of light?"


If you are one of those people who keeps asking themselves "I wonder if the Large Hadron Collider has destroyed the world yet?", you can use the following website to check:


It's 8:31 AM PST and the World Hasn't Collapsed Into a Mini-Black hole... Yet...

In the event of Scientific disaster, don't forget to bring your crowbar.

6 hours and 54 minutes ago, Scientists at CERN near Geneva flipped the power on for the Large Hadron Collider, which we previously identified as the most metal (the music, not the substance, although there is probably a lot of that in it too) Science experiment EVAR, and so far so good. Some stupid people were predicting that by messing around with elementary particles and shooting them at each other faster than we ever had before, we were going to generate mini-black holes or some such, which would grow and end up destroying Earth. Other REAL Scientists have explained multiple times in multiple ways why this isn't going to happen. Although we are glad to hear that we aren't going to die in a black hole any time soon, we are secretly a little bummed that we aren't going to die in a black hole any time soon. So to make up for it, we've thought up some other 'likely' doomsday situations that may arise from the activation of the LHC:
  • Due to an unfortunate workplace accident, a scientist is knocked into the particle beam and is imbued with some sort of awesome super power. He will use his powers to bring about a New World Order ruled by the Iron Fist of Science (this one actually doesn't sound too bad).
  • The LHC will cause a resonance cascade which will tear space-time, allowing aliens from an alternate plane of reality bent on inter-dimensional domination to enter our world. Survivors, armed only with crowbars, will spend the rest of their lives battling head-crabs and will develop a religion that worships a man named Gordon Freeman.
  • The LHC will fail to achieve any of its Scientific goals, leading to worldwide cuts in Science funding. Scientists, no longer able to support themselves, will quickly die off, and all technical and scientific knowledge gained in the last 100 years will be lost. John McCain will win the election and die of a heart attack or stroke or something as soon as he takes office because he is old and Sarah Palin will become the President. The redneck/snowbilly sensibilities of her native Alaska will fill the void left by Science sparking a chain reaction of unfortunate but predictable events that will ultimately lead to the extinction of the human race in 50 years.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Most Metal Experiment Ever

In what will surely prove to be one of the most metal science experiments in the history of man, the search for the Higgs boson, known as the "God particle," will commence on Wednesday. That's right, deep below the mountains of Switzerland, two beams of protons will travel through seventeen mile long tubes colder and emptier than outer space at nearly the speed of light. And Wednesday's experiments won't even be at full power. You might be thinking, " That's pretty fucking metal, but what about Stanford prison studies, Harry Harlow, and Stanley Milgram?" Well not only are the methods dark and brutal in the Large Hadron Collider, but the analysis and results are too. For the scientists out there, these experiments will generate upwards of 15 petabytes of data (brutal for those who have to analyze it), and the publication of that data will have hundreds of authors (metal). Furthermetal, Some skeptics claim that these experiments will create mini black holes that could eventually doom the earth. That's fucking Brutal.

Check out the inevitable site for the recording of Dethklok's next album; CERN's LHC

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Fly Me To the Moon

Holy shit, it's been a like 1000 blog years since we posted anything for your Scientific pleasure. So, here is something awesome: You know the International Space Station? Why don't we put an engine and a cockpit on that motherfucker and send it to the Moon! After all, what is it currently other than a glorified hundred billion dollar camper trailer cruising in low earth orbit? Okay, okay, they do some Science there too. But its basically the exact same Science that the Russians have been doing in other various space stations for the past 30 years.

Don't get us wrong, we love NASA, but you have to admit that their current project to get to the Moon by 2020, Orion, seems a little lackluster considering that we've already fucking done it a bunch of times in the 60s/70s and it only took us like 8 years then to get from basically the drawing board to a man walking on the moon.

Who even knows what is going to happen to the ISS after the Space Shuttle fleet (if you can call 2 remaining shuttles a fleet) is retired in a few years, especially since the Russians might not let us use their Soyuz vehicles anymore if we don't play nice with them. Indeed, sending the ISS to the Moon asap would not only be politically, economically, and scientifically efficient, but it would also be pretty much the fucking coolest thing NASA has ever done. Except for going to the Moon the first time, that is.